This page tells where this site came from, what it’s for, and how it’s created and maintained — sort of a “behind the scenes” look. I also collected rave reviews and reprint them over on the right side of the page.
History of the Encyclopedia
Sniggle.net: The Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia, is a labor of love that was created by Dave Gross. It is hosted by Laughing Squid and is assisted by web surfers and snigglers like yourself.
Nobody is making money from this or advertising their stuff here. I created this site because I wished I could find pages like this on the Web. Now I can, and so can you, and I’ve earned many a smile. I stopped actively maintaining these pages in the early 2000s, but haven’t had the heart to shut the site down.
This site was born back in the 1990s as a single page with the filling yet informative title of Trolls, Hoaxes, Culture Jamming, Poetic Terrorism, Media Hacks, Frauds, Impostors, Spoofs, Counterfeits, Fakes, Pranks, Scams, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
Sniggle.net covers a lot of strange ground — I think there exists something that connects religion and Barbie Liberation Organization, P.T. Barnum and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the Pieman and O.J. Simpson. I give whatever that thing is the name “sniggle,” and I think that whatever you call it, it merits study.
Most of this site highlights deception, but it’s not because I have a thing for liars and cheats. I think there’s a brand of immunizing deception that helps us to expose and correct the lies we tell ourselves and the webs of falsehood that make up our societies. Harmless fibs can remind us that we’ve dropped our guard and let the Big Lies in.
Pranks and hoaxes and delusions and frauds remind us that we’re easily fooled and that we aren’t nearly as smart as we sometimes think we are. The trickster, by taking us down a notch, does us a valuable service. It’s when we start acting clever that we summon forth the worst of humanity’s evils.
So I presented this site in the hope that it will inspire as much as it informs or entertains. I think people are all too frequently blind to the ways in which our lives are so very messed up by our culture, and the extent to which we each help to maintain this blindness and this painful absurdity. Sniggling, whether or not it is performed with any such awareness, helps to poke holes in the veil we spend so much time helping each other to construct.
The Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia isn’t meant to be an encyclopedia of culture jammers, so much as an encyclopedia for culture jammers — exposing the cracks in a culture where a sniggler can hide the semantic explosives.
If you want to know more about my motives and my interest in sniggling, I’ve put some excerpts from interviews I’ve given on the subject here.
Organism and Mechanism
Within the soul of today’s human being is a battle between organic chaos and mechanical order. On one side: life, libido, novelty; on the other: machinery, standardization, law. Every time you are confronted with choices and, instead of playing one of society’s designated rôles, you choose “none of the above” and find yourself alone in a nameless category — you score a point for our team.
If you note an insurrectionary undercurrent running through these pages, you’re right on target. My feeling is that when the enemy is an army of deadening algorithms, committing buffoonery is tantamount to revolution:
You never know when one of these opportunities is going to present itself, or in what form it will come. It helps to be alert, and to have good examples (for instance, the ones at this site) of the wise and mischievous people who have broken out before.
And silliness is part of the fun — I can rant and rave about the subversive potential of pranks, but sometimes joy and fun are their own reward, and you’ll find plenty of this here as well. The artist in you may also find a new set of canvases to play with here.
Thanks for your words of encouragement and for suggesting links. If you want to get ahold of me, please write to me at email@example.com. If you’d like to help potential snigglers find this resource by linking to sniggle.net, you are encouraged to use one of our banners — take a look; I made ’em myself and I’m kind of proud of ’em.
Another way you can help is to write one of our Special Reports — know anything about the Howard Hughes autobiography or George Psalmanazar? Write up a report and I’ll publish it here. Check out our reports on Brian G. Hughes, Captain von Köpenick, Dr. Drown’s Homo-Vibra Ray and Brother Jed for inspiration.
Or make your own web site to follow some lead that I’ve left unfollowed or to pursue your own interest. Web presence isn’t just a bauble for institutions; it’s for anyone with a yen for communicating a personal interest.
But the best way you can help is to join up with some like-minded crazies (or go solo if you wish) and start to color outside the lines. Do something to disrupt the status quo, then document it (without generating excess evidence), and let me add it to the sniggle.net collection.
If you happen to be interested in this sort of thing, here are a few words about the design philosophy I kept in mind when designing this site. (Though note, this was written in the early 2000s.)
Eventually I’ll almost certainly move the site more thoroughly to style sheets, but currently I use PHP to pull some of the same tricks that people use style sheets for, but on the server side rather than the client side so I don’t have to rely on your browser doing the right thing — it’s harder this way, but more backwards-compatible. I don’t specify a font or a fixed font size in my pages but instead try to make them flexible enough so that they will render well with whatever font you prefer in your browser.
I do my HTML/PHP coding by hand in a text editor rather than using a WYSIWYG editor. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I feel much more confident with what I’m writing this way, and it’s easier to spot bugs. (Those damned WYSIWYG editors seem to spit out really ugly HTML — full of Winchester Mystery Tables and misplaced tags and such.) I almost exclusively use “XHTML 1.0 Transitional,” erring on the side of backward-compatibility.
If you see something on this site that doesn’t work with your browser, please let me know about it. I don’t have all of the browsers to test with, and a lot of browsing mechanisms — text-to-speech converters, braille browsers and the like — are completely foreign to me.
If you’re interested in more information about how I do what I do, read the XHTML source. If you want to know why I do what I do, just ask me.
Oh yeah, and “sniggle” is a verb that means to fish for eels by slipping a baited hook into their hiding places. In case you were curious.
Courtesy of The Internet Archive — a snapshot of what this site looked like on 6 May 1997 and on 1 February 2003.
Feedback & Reviews
I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your web-site. It is so refreshing to see a really cool page that shows just how easy people can be manipulated when the conditions are right. It’s awesome to see a web-page that really offers some actual worthwhile and interesting content. Thanks very much! Just wondering though, how did you come upon the idea for this site? What was your inspiration?
Awesome page! We’re going to be spending a lot of time there these next few days. We’ve linked it, too.
Every few months I’m compelled to write and let you know that the “Trolls, Hoaxes…” page is still my favorite read on the net. It must be a LOT of work keeping this page going, but it is much appreciated.
Because the Conspiracy is so vast, omnipresent, and pervasive in our society, it can be difficult for a SubGenius to effectively STRIKE BACK against the non-stop barrage of hypnotic commands emanating from a thousand different sources every day…. This site is a terrific source of information for those who wish to see the archives of the culture jammers… [A]n extensive list of hackers, parodists, Discordians, and media manipulators who pull off incredible stunts every day — AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT!!! It’s an inspiration that will make you want to go out and FIGHT for your right to be SUBVERSIVE!
For the cyberian who has everything, including an attitude, take two doses of Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia and call us in the morning. You’ll find a bevy of sassy skeptics who are ready, willing, and able to deconstruct society’s hottest hucksters, hackers, and antiheroes. Got the millenium-bug blues? Luxuriate in a lukewarm bath of literary hoaxes. Stuck in an ill-fitting operating system? Witness the inaugural Bill Gates pie-throwing contest, then slip into something a little more uncomfortable…
Your page is a light in the black hole that is the internet.
The late Marshall McLuhan wrote “World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian and military participation.” Participants in this war will find the Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia to be a compendium of great information and links…
Thank you very much for what is obviously a labor of love. I’m going to savor it and pass it on to friends who will also enjoy it.
Thought your site might be interesting until I got to your page on The Great God Hoax. Found it to be offensive in that you set yourselves up as All Knowing when it comes to people’s belief systems. Unless you have been around a lot longer than your prose would indicate, or you are omniscient, you might refrain from portraying your opinions as THE TRUTH. I had thought of Bookmarking the site, but…
Una increíble colección de fraudes culturales, en todos los campos del saber humano! Las mejores falsificaciones en la pintura y la literatura! Las más complejas estafas políticas y científicas! El siempre asombroso y muy humano deporte de engañar al prójimo, a veces por dinero y otras sólo por la fama o por el placer de hacerlo, aparece aquí reflejado con informaciones, artículos y excelentes imágenes. Desde el incidente del Golfo de Tonkin hasta los Protocolos de los sabios de Sion, el mundo de la mentira desfila ante nuestra vista. No dejes de visitarla!
I’ve waited a long time for a page such as this. Thanks.
I was far from imagining such a complete site! As for being French, I thought that America (Canada included) was a place of mad folks. I realized that some Americans are equipped with brains, not just taking care about Clinton’s dick and reading Newsweek! You can count on me for showing your site to my friends! Keep on like this guys, your site is one of the best I’ve ever seen on the net!
Your ‘Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia‘ page is excellent!! I’ve gotten more bookmarks from your site than from the rest of the entire internet combined! Keep up the great work!
Greetings; I make a point of writing once a year to say that this is still the best read on the net… It must be a lot of work to keep this site maintained, but it’s much appreciated
No fooling: This site, jammed with entries about every kind of forgery, hoax, scam, trick, and rip-off, will keep surfers fascinated for hours. …wryly relates the scoop on the unscrupulous… True crime was never this entertaining. Grade: A
– CWC (Entertainment Weekly)
Quite possibly the most entertaining site ever.
…great links on Culture Jamming and the like. I spent about a week just going through a small number of his links and not a minute was wasted. Well, the whole experience was a waste of time, but I was at work so at least I got paid for it.
…a comprehensive collection of links to the weirdest organisations with official sites on the Web. Some of the groups you’ll find are deliberate shit-disturbers, while others are as earnest, and as blissfully oblivious their own strangeness, as Ed Wood writing, directing, starring in, and narrating ‘Glen or Glenda.’ This deserves hours and hours of your precious time.
The Culture-Jammer’s Encyclopedia is an awe-inspiring compendium of human mischief.
Definitely a site to infect you with Mad Sacred Cow Disease.
A great resource for all things anticommercial, including great spoofs and a guide to concocting a good hoax.
This site kicks ass. Its always proud to see sites that provide worthful information about some of the great minds and thoughts of the past. Good Job.
I spent a heap of time this morning exploring Sniggle.net: The Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia. Tricksiness might not change the world (or then again, it might). But it sure is a good way of taking back a little personal power on those days you feel there’s nothing you can do to stop the Tyranny Machine.
Sir, madam, or It, whatever the case may be: I have no idea how I located your website in the first place, but I most certainly am glad I did. What a kick. I hope you continue this work; it makes an otherwise gloomy winter day full of light and warmth.
A virtual reference book of all things subversive, fraudulent, anti-commercial, or just plain fun and devious. Includes tons of cool links.
– Yahoo! Cool Links: Surfers’ Picks: Nancy
Many thanks for putting together such an important site — it needed to be said, all of it.
I saw your site in .Net magazine and went there expecting the same old stuff that you usually find on “weird” sites. What a delight to find such excellent and varied content… Thanks for a really first-class effort — I’ll recommend it to all my friends. :-)
– Mr. Nice
I just thought that I should write to say how much I appreciate your work and dedication to the cause. A world without cultural jammers would be one without a god or poetic justice.
A huge treasure trove of information, articles, and reports of media pranks and practical jokes. UFO hoaxes, prank callers to TV shows and email to corporations, P.T. Barnum, phony virus scares, the Grunge Lexicon prank, Joey Skaggs, Crop Circles, Yippie actions… it’s all here.
We’d all be better with a little of this stuff. Well, at least some of this stuff.
To date, this is the best culture jamming resource on the web. It covers everything from college pranks and protests, to billboard valdalism, to famous figures in the culture jamming movement. It has an amazing quantity of quality content.
El destino definitivo de todo neo activista y artista guerrillero. Contiene informacion sobre la utilizacion de los medios ciberneticos para protestar hacia los mismos. Tiene una larga lista de manuales e instructivos teorécos sobre la batalla de la era de la informacion contra el consumismo colectivo y la dependencia tecnológica.
I just found your page. Awesome. I find it awesome. This page is perfect and it is right up my alley. I have to visit it more and check it out. I love this stuff… I have this link saved and can’t wait to explore more on this page.
This page has it all. You can find everything from billboard liberation to Yippies, to various Cacophony Societies, to the Quadro drug “tracker” scam, to Jello Biafra, to guerrilla theatre, to Abbie Hoffman, to Joey Skaggs’ Cathouse for Dogs… etc. etc. etc. With about a hundred million links, I promise you will never ever get sick of this page.
Una bella raccolta di truffe ai media. Per la serie copia-incolla, leggi, impara!!!
Very cool useful information about lots of things. I’d live my life by this stuff if I weren’t old and afraid.
This is a great site, highly suggested you visit, its myriad of ideas, stories and links are a riot!!
– TooSquare Magazine
Una raccolta commentata e altamente consigliabile per la completezza e l’abbondanza di riferimenti è The On-line Idiosinctactix Jammer’s Encyclopedia… Gli argomenti trattati fanno riferimento alla cultura americana e a prima vista appaiono un po’ estranei ai nostri costumi sociali, ma ad avventurarvisi si incontrano situazioni umoristiche e paradossali.
– Internet News
Can’t hype this one enough; a truly truly fabulous site… A site that takes full advantage of the beautiful art of hyperlinking, let this Encyclopedia be your guide as you wander across the desert of cultural illusion. I got deliciously lost in the Imposters section; seemingly endless exploration awaits you in the areas of pranks, forgeries, hoaxes and various and sundry kinds of nonsense. Did I call it delicious yet?
I’m not even sure how I found this site, but it’s wonderful. It’s a grinning deconstruction of the collective conscious/unconscious garbage pail we call culture. I expect to spend a lot of time in this particular bath…
“Trolls, Hoaxes, Culture Jamming, Poetic Terrorism, Media Hacks, Frauds, Impostors, Spoofs, Counterfeits, Fakes, Pranks, Scams, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”… a rare example of an Internet site whose name is more complicated than its address. Lovely if you get paid by the word, which I don’t, unfortunately. The trouble with sites that claim to know the truth behind something or other is that they’re often as rabidly incoherent as the very thing they’re exposing… Trolls, etc. isn’t like that at all. In fact, you can see the author (or authors) had a lot of fun putting together the truth behind such things as musical spoofs, scams and frauds, literary forgeries, art forgeries, impostors, counterfeiting, fake folks, in fact behind everything you could want, and several things you didn’t want to know about, and a few things you weren’t even aware of. Some of the fun is transferred to the reader, since the site is comprehensive, entertaining, and informative, with good links where relevant. Highly recommended.
Culture Jamming é uma expressão para a nova revolução cultural e social que se está a espalhar na Internet. Os seus partidários definem-se como guerrilheiros da informação ou hacktivistas culturais, e procuram subverter a ordem social e cultural ditada pela propaganda das multinacionais e dos governos. Nesta página encontra tudo sobre esta contracorrente social e cultural. Fabuloso!
Time for a bit of research and fun… Archives upon archives of most excellent stuff!
– Clothespins for the Revolution
Tra i siti piú completi vi é la Culture Jammer’s Encyclopedia, il sito piú completo in assoluto. Il nome é appropriatissimo. Siamo di fronte ad una vera enciclopedia in rete sul jamming.
Com uma longa lista de fraudes e contrafacções, este é um excelente local para entrar num mundo de comédias e enganos.
Für die kleinen Bösen unter uns Öffentlichkeit ist ein großartiger Platz, um Verwirrung zu stiften und um so zum Nachdenken anzuregen. Und um Alltägliches in Frage zu stellen. So denken auch die Macher von der Cultural Jammer’s Enzyklopedia. Sie stellen alle Arten des Schummelns, Täuschens, Verwirrens vor, die man sich denken kann. Anekdotenhaft streifen sie vom harmlosen Verschönern von Verkehrsschildern bis zu dem Welterfolg Milli Vanilli, die mit Tanzen ohne zu singen die ganze Popindustrie (ungewollt) karikierten. Neben Umetikettieren im Supermarkt gefällt mir auch das Einschmuggeln von selbsthergestellten CD’s in einen Musikmarkt sehr gut. Daneben auch viele Gags und Aktionen von politisch motivierten Kulturverdrehern.
Dave Gross has done humanity a profund and heartful service — by creating a network of (importantly unique and playful) ideas; and acting as a vital node in many other such networks. Selflessly supporting the opportunity to explore and embody novel and pro-cognitive ideals, games, and toys — this single person’s integratory work has resulted in a web-toy — and a set of cognitive toys — which are of inestimable value. The important question is this: do we consume, or embody and elaborate his creatively assembled integrations?
Hello. I’ve E-mailed you to give you a piece of my mind and to tell you I tottaly disagree with your view. I can’t believe you. One of those people who don’t believe it if they can’t see it, eh? What about air? or bacteria? How ignorant can you be? Of course, people have done hoaxes. No one has proven, say, the Loch Ness Monster exists, but no one has proven they don’t exist at all, either! Have some faith! You’d ignore evidence if someone dangled it under your nose! I have complete disregard for your views and have now told you so. I think someone should talk some sense into you!!!!!
Love all the links to different bizarre characters operating just outside the American conscience, and some that pervaded the American cultural scene. The College Pranks are hilarious, and some of the hoaxes are just brilliant. It’s nice to see a website that still provides information without a payment plan…
Hehehe zo kom je toch regelmatig op vreemde doch zeer vermakelijke site’s terecht.Uit nieuwsgierigheid klikte ik even op Guerilla Hacks en verslikte me bijna in de koffie vanwege dat plaatje rechtsbovenin met de tekst Barbie Liberation.
An AMAZING and extensive encyclopedia for culture jammers, Impostors, Fakes, Forgeries, Frauds, Hackers, Counterfeiters, Tricksters, Pseudoscientists, Pranksters, and Vandalists. Be sure to check out the collection of 66 liberated billboards.
Now you’ve done it! I’ve wasted hours at this site… I love it.
its a fabulous compendium of forgeries, fakes, hoaxes, counterfeiting, spoofs, pseudoscience, and just plain weird stuff. Perfect fodder for killing time on a Friday afternoon.
I have spent many a happy afternoon reading the stories linked to from sniggle.net. It’s a great site full of wonderful stories.
I’m a big fan of urban legends, hoaxes, and assorted pranks. This site: very, very good. Thanks!
Not only is it a zippy collection of “trolls, hoaxes, media hacks, counterfeits” and more that have bested more than one data hipster, but its contents serve as a reminder that even the professionally alert have clueless moments of cultural ignorance if not shocking gullibility.
|On This Day in Snigglery||May 30, 2005: The Billboard Liberation Front of San Francisco created “the world’s first animatronic billboard alteration: a life-sized figure of Ronald McDonald feeding a corpulent child his daily dose of Big Macs” (see Billboard Liberation for more).|